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Will tackling gender diversity within the oil and gas industry through talent management support growth

4th March 2018 | Richard Goodall

Will tackling gender diversity within the oil and gas industry through talent management support growth

Currently, in North America and Western Europe, less than two percent of oil and gas companies are lead by women. This startling revelation should be taken into account by talent managers within the oil and gas sector, in order to actively tackle lack of female managers within their industry. Recent research conducted by the World Petroleum Council and The Boston Consulting Group, which surveyed over 2,000 professionals across 38 companies, revealed that the oil and gas industry has one of the lowest shares of female talent, compared to all other major industries. This imbalance is an issue which transcends beyond seniority geography and business segment. When evaluated, the data revealed that women within the industry compile around one-fifth of the oil and gas sectors workforce, which when compared with equally as large and thriving industries elsewhere, is significantly lower. Bad for business? Despite the gender division being overall unfair, it also creates an issue within the industry when it comes to business success. In the long term, a company that fails to diversify and adopt new talent across a multitude of demographics can end up curbing their own internal development and overall growth of the business. It is commonly agreed […]

Currently, in North America and Western Europe, less than two percent of oil and gas companies are lead by women. This startling revelation should be taken into account by talent managers within the oil and gas sector, in order to actively tackle lack of female managers within their industry. Recent research conducted by the World Petroleum Council and The Boston Consulting Group, which surveyed over 2,000 professionals across 38 companies, revealed that the oil and gas industry has one of the lowest shares of female talent, compared to all other major industries. This imbalance is an issue which transcends beyond seniority geography and business segment.

When evaluated, the data revealed that women within the industry compile around one-fifth of the oil and gas sectors workforce, which when compared with equally as large and thriving industries elsewhere, is significantly lower.

Bad for business?

Despite the gender division being overall unfair, it also creates an issue within the industry when it comes to business success. In the long term, a company that fails to diversify and adopt new talent across a multitude of demographics can end up curbing their own internal development and overall growth of the business.
It is commonly agreed that the current state of the oil and gas industry fails its female employees, with career satisfaction and progression at its lowest point after three to five years employed within the industry, for the majority of women. Moreover, the survey found that the lowest point of career satisfaction within women in the industry aligned almost perfectly with their male counterparts enthusiasm spike.
The survey revealed the primary cause of dissatisfaction for women in the oil and gas industry, is that within their roles they are often unaware of the lack of opportunities available to them or directly targeted to them and their career progression. 51% of women noted this as the key reason for disaffection, compared to only 32% of men within the oil and gas industry. One of the key findings of the report cites that an incorrect presumption throughout the industry that women are not interested in certain roles and positions. Furthermore, other findings demonstrated the shocking but very real fact that a number of companies have attempted to save money through failing to provide separate facilities and are therefore unable to cater for women at particular drill-sites and rigs.

Depletion of talent supply

For the oil and gas industry, failure to actively encourage such a large demographic of people can prove to be incredibly damaging to talent management efforts. With the supply of technical professionals dramatically depleting over the past four years, oil and gas companies should ensure that their talent management strategy is inclusive and appeals to a broad spectrum of demographics to bridge the very obvious skills gap. Particularly with fewer graduates, around 2%, considering working within the gas and oil sector as one of their top choices, it is now time to readdress how careers within the sector are sold to the younger generation, particularly women, whilst studying.
Graduates of tomorrow will be more cautious about entering an industry with such a rocky track record, with their considerations proving to be much more detailed than those who are now retiring from the industry, previously made. When we consider the recent crash, climate change and competition from alternative and green energies, are oil and gas companies really ensuring that the industry is appealing to female talent?
Moreover, the industry has always been associated with being heavily male-dominated, therefore talent management and HR will need to instil renewed values into what once would have been somewhat of a ‘boys club’. By looking at behaviours and internal culture, and changing these for the better through new and improved rules and regulations, talent management can boost the appeal of the oil and gas industries to more diverse groups of people.

Goodall Brazier strives to improve talent management strategies and encourage and support an inclusive approach to recruitment. For more information on how we can support your talent management strategy within the oil and gas sector, get in touch today.